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internet safety tips
General Internet Safety
- Antivirus software & a firewall are "must-haves" if you go online at all. Stop the problems before they start. Symantec's Norton and McAfee are popular.
- Run a "adware" remover occasionally. Spybot and Adaware are good and free. I use both.
- If you stumble on a site with pornographic, violent, or hateful content hit the back button quick and go somewhere else. Not only will those sites pollute your mind and soul but they are prime suspects for installing spyware and other malicious scripts on your computer.
- When in doubt ask your parents.
Discussion Board, Chat Room, Instant Messaging, Blog, & Guestbook Safety
- Be careful about registering on websites. Be sure that it is a reputable site and don't provide more information than absolutely necessary. Get your parents permission before signing up for things.
- Don't click on links posted by people you don't know. It is possible to get viruses that way.
- Don't reveal personally identifying information.
- Never disclose your real name. Pick a cool "alias" and stick with it.
- Don't post your phone number.
- Don't post your home address.
- Don't post your school name.
- Don't post your email address on forums or guestbooks etc. unless you like spam. Robots harvest email addresses from webpages.
- Don't agree to meet with people who you talk to online. There are some cyber-predators (bad people) out there and they might not be who they said they were. Someone who says that they are a "12 year old girl" could really be a 50 year old man.
- Ignore "trolls" and they will go away. If someone is posting things just to get a reaction from you ignore them. Don't post any response at all. Contact the site administrator or moderators and let them deal with it. Some people live to make drama. Don't give them the satisfaction.
- Don't open attachments that you weren't expecting. They could contain viruses or trojans. Beware especially of "executable" file extensions like: ade .adp .bas .bat .chm .cmd .com .cpl .crt .exe .hlp .hta .inf .ins .isp .js .jse .lnk .mdb .mde .msc .msi .msp .mst .pcd .pif .reg .scr .sct .shb .shs .url .vb .vbe .vbs .wsc .wsf .wsh
- Don't open messages sent by people/companies you don't know. It is possible to get viruses that way.
- Don't click on links in messages sent by people/companies you don't know. It is possible to get viruses that way.
- Never fill out a webform on a webpage that you found by clicking on a link in an email. Bad guys use that trick to get your personal information and possibly steal your identity or take over your various accounts. It's called phishing. Always access webforms by typing the address (of a known company) in the addressbar of your browser and navigate from there to the webform.